Dutch Parliament will debate on missing MH17 radar recordings

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The Dutch parliament will have a plenary debate on the missing radar recordings of MH17 . Both Ukraine and Russia did not provide primary radar recordings to the Dutch Safety Board. Ukraine did not provide primary radar of military air traffic control and also did not provide primary raw radar recordings of the civil aviation  air traffic control offered by UkSATSE.

Russia did also not provide secondary radar but did provide a video recording including processed raw radar.

The Dutch government did not take any action to obtain those recordings. For example it did not send a letter of complain to ICAO , Russian Federation or Ukraine.

The debate is scheduled for Thursday February 4 at 19:30 and can be seen live via the livestream on internet.

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8 Comments on Dutch Parliament will debate on missing MH17 radar recordings

  1. At January 28, 2016, there was a video conference from the usual suspects of Dutch parliament concerning MH17 and Joe Sultana, head of Eurocontrol.

    According to The Sunday Times Ukraine was warned by Eurocontrol to close their airspace for passenger flights several days before the shooting down of MH17.

    http://www.nltimes.nl/2014/12/08/eurocontrol-wanted-close-ukraine-airspace-mh17/

    But Sultana denied, since Eurocontrol has no means and authority to oblige countries to close their airspace:

    https://www.eurocontrol.int/press-releases/response-sunday-times-article-7-december-2014

    [Brussels, Belgium – With regard to the story published in the Sunday Times on 7 December 2014 regarding the downing of MH17, EUROCONTROL has the following statement to make:

    “Decisions about opening or closing national airspace are solely the responsibility of national authorities and, as it is not EUROCONTROL’s mandate to advise them in this regard, we would not have made such a recommendation.”]

    Furthermore he said Eurocontrol only gets its information about the safety of air spaces from the newspapers.

    What bothers me, it is their job to draw conclusions about dozens of aircraft shot down earlier. Damned, Eurocontrol did not realize its existential responsibility so morally it is guilty too. I don’t buy this argumentation. Shared responsibility means nobody takes responsibility. That’s the tragedy of MH17.

    But Sultana said things can go very well and he gave the example of the rocket attack on Tel Aviv airport where the Israelis informed the airlines about the risks, but they did not close their airspace. After several days it indeed showed no passenger plane was shot down.

    Well, concerning Tel Aviv airport this only shows the irresponsibility of the airlines in question.

    I think it was MP Harry van Bommel who asked how long it takes to change the rules and to make Eurocontrol fully in charge of the safety in European air space. Very good question.

    Sultana said parties informally were already speaking with the EU. So that must go wrong.

    Hence, Eurocontrol does not control too much and if Ukraine does not cover its airspace with radar but thinks it is safe then it is their own business.

    This was the moment of glory of our cowboy MP Pieter Omtzigt, since now he posed the brilliant question whether the Ukrainian failure – or whatever – of the primary radar was required to report to Eurocontrol.

    The answer was “yes” because they were not in control of their airspace since a war was going on with (unknown) military aircraft a midst of civil aviation, and Eurocontrol almost certainly has not been notified. Sultana will send Omtzigt all relevant data. That, we hear at the next meeting. This will be a very important legal document.

    They all were very good in Oxford English, these glamour boys…

    • “Shared responsibility means nobody takes responsibility.” Well said!

      How convenient it is to be an authority in your line of work but not responsible for the results.

  2. In the second instance I might be wrong and the situation could be completely different:

    I did not read this before:

    http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/world_news/Ukraine/article1492579.ece

    [UKRAINE was urged to close the east of the country to civil aviation days before the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in July but ignored the warning, The Sunday Times has learnt.

    Sources at Eurocontrol, the organisation that manages Europe’s air traffic, said its experts spoke privately to their Ukrainian counterparts about the potential threat after more than 20 Ukrainian military aircraft were destroyed by Russian-backed rebels.

    The Ukrainians continued to let planes fly over the affected area, however. The sources said Eurocontrol did not have the power to interfere with countries’ decisions.

    The revelation looks certain to fuel the anger of the families of the 298 passengers and crew — 10 of them Britons — who died when the plane was shot down on July 17.]

    In the second instance it seems Eurocontrol has privatly done their best to do what was possible and in the rebound Mr Sultana was urged to declare Eurocontrol officially had not made any complaints to Ukraine. In the rebound it looks Eurocontrol has taken its existential responsibility. Then, I offer my apologies to Eurocontrol.

    But then Eurocontrol has been in a sharp conflict with Ukraine. Great! This means for court Ukraine is not that innocent country unaware of all those risks. Ukraine has been warned by Eurocontrol, be it privately. Then, Ukraine purposely and willingly brought in danger the lives of thousands of air passengers.

    Ukraine said to have closed their airspace for military aircraft since July 15, 2016, so they might have thought there was no need to warn Eurocontrol for the shutdown of their primary radar. But that definitely is not true since also they were afraid of foreign (Russian) planes. And it does not matter, for a country at war always needs primary radar for control on military aircraft if they also have civil aviation. So will be the rules. Anyway, no primary radar available implies warning Eurocontrol.

    The whole situation looks like systematic lying. Why? To have no military aircraft in the air when a civil airliner was shot down? Has this all been planned? Are we the last to know this? How much knows Eurocontrol really? Is Eurocontrol the key to the solution of the disaster with MH17? Are we on the verge of unmasking the perpetrator? A star role for Prime Minister Rutte from the Netherlands? Getting to the bottom? At last?

  3. [The Ukraine Air Traffic control organization UkSATSE did not allow the Dutch Safety Board to talk to the air traffic controller responsible for the control of MH17]

    Were these the same air traffic controllers which have spoken with Eurocontrol?

  4. Basic Dimension,

    “I did not read this before”

    — But a couple of hours earlier you’ve already posted the summary of this article above here — together with its refutation by Eurocontrol!

    “Ukraine said to have closed their airspace for military aircraft since July 15, 2016”

    — That’s wrong. Ukraine only stopped their military flights for one single day, July 15, while on July 16 they flew again and lost one more plane.

    “The Ukraine Air Traffic control organization UkSATSE did not allow the Dutch Safety Board to talk to the air traffic controller responsible for the control of MH17”

    — Are you sure they *did not allow* it — or the DSB just *did not ask them* about it as there was no need for it, everything being rather clear from the recordings?

    • Prosto:

      [— But a couple of hours earlier you’ve already posted the summary of this article above here — together with its refutation by Eurocontrol!]

      That’s right. But I did not read The Sunday Times article itself for I was giving report about the video conference in the first place. For me it was too much information to process at once.

      [ “Ukraine said to have closed their airspace for military aircraft since July 15, 2016”]

      [— That’s wrong. Ukraine only stopped their military flights for one single day, July 15, while on July 16 they flew again and lost one more plane.]

      This text is of a year ago and now I would have said: “At that time, Ukraine suggested to close their airspace for military aircraft from July 15, 2016”.

      Since, nowhere have they said in advance they would stop their military flights only for one single day, July 15, and then would fly again on July 16 and then would stop again on July 17. This is after the fact information.

      This was my perception:

      [[- On July 15, it was announced by the military in a Public Statement since July 14 civil aviation was only allowed above 9,700 meters and military aviation was suspended. But actually military flights went on as usual.

      – This so-called closing of the military airspace had to assure airlines, separatists had no more reason to shoot planes out of the sky. Also, Ukraine would be exonerated legally from criminally keeping open the civil airspace above Donetsk.

      – After suspension of military aviation civilian aircraft had nothing to fear. But airlines did not know military aviation was continued.]]

      You said:

      [“The Ukraine Air Traffic control organization UkSATSE did not allow the Dutch Safety Board to talk to the air traffic controller responsible for the control of MH17”]

      I think to have got this information from this site as a hypothesis.

      [— Are you sure they *did not allow* it — or the DSB just *did not ask them* about it as there was no need for it, everything being rather clear from the recordings?]

      I don’t bother, since:

      Firstly, DSB / SBU are an identity. Hence the recordings of the CVR cannot be trusted any longer.

      Secondly, if DSB did not ask them it would be a shame, since this interrogation is common practice after aviation accidents.

      Thirdly, from the Eurocontrol story, which DSB must have known long before writing their report, they had a compelling reason to interrogate the traffic controllers about the privately ventilated warning by staff of Eurocontrol to stop with civil flights above Donetsk immediately.

      Fourthly, if DSB [just *did not ask them*] definitely knowing from the warning of Eurocontrol, and keeping this information out of their report, this would be just shocking information and a bloody shame!

      • “now I would have said: “At that time, Ukraine suggested to close their airspace for military aircraft from July 15, 2016””

        What Ukraine actually said was, the military flights were temporarily suspended that day until further order. There was no claim that decision would stay for any longer period — the “further order” might have come immediately. There was nothing in the Ukrainian statements to suggest the military would not fly again for a longer time, it is a corrupted perception stemming possibly from bad translations and second-hand renderings.

        “if DSB [just *did not ask them*] definitely knowing from the warning of Eurocontrol, and keeping this information out of their report, this would be just shocking information and a bloody shame!”

        — Actually much more shame would be there if DSB asked the Ukrainians but were denied! DSB in fact published the list of denials both by Ukraine and Russia, and there is no Ukrainian denial to question air controllers there.

  5. Here my intuitive – and as usual fact-free – interpretation of the parliamentary debate with the Dutch government on February 4, 2016, about the radar data held by the Americans, the Russians and Ukrainians.

    It is well known Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland offered the world to declassify some (satellite) data about the launch site of the alleged BUK near Snizhne or wherever.

    Now you would expect the Dutch government immediately asked for declassification of these data. Indeed, for then it would be very clear to the world the separatists were the perpetrators.

    But despite a lot of questions of the MP’s the government tonight tried everything not to disclose this information. They said the government does not know about radar data, and it has no say in public declassification since the prosecution office is an independent institute and it is them who do not want to disclose the facts. But the prosecutor knows all the facts already.

    What might have happened? We first have to assume a BUK was launched from the south east of Donetsk downing MH17. Then, in the first instance Secretary of State John Kerry thought the separatists were the perpetrators. But then he possibly has been warned the Ukrainians also had BUKs in that area. From that time it was all silence.

    What would be your problem as you were JIT? Only when you have definite proof the separatists were on that launch spot, you would declassify the information for the public.

    So, maybe at the moment they have not enough proof and du moment they show the evidence, Russians and separatists would anticipate and be able to defend themselves. So they first wait to gather a lot of witness statements. For maybe after early declassification nobody in that tiny area dares to testify against the separatists.

    The second problem the MP’s mentioned was the ultimate time delay acceptable by ICAO rules in forcing Russia and Ukraine to give their radar images. I understood the longer we wait the less likely they have to hand it over. That was the big debate tonight with the unwilling government.

    But now we have a possible plot. If JIT cannot prove the separatists or the Russians were in charge on that launch site, they will wait so long it is too late to ask radar data from Russians and Ukrainians.

    Remember, how funny, also Ukraine is member of JIT: [In the JIT the Netherlands Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Dutch National Police work together with police and judicial authorities of Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine.]

    And, as long as the Russians have no conclusions about the witness reports, they do not know what has been “proven”. Hence, if it appears to JIT the launch site was in the hands of the Ukrainians, JIT will not ask about radar data from the Russians and let time expire.

    So, at this moment radar information is counterproductive for the tunnel vision of JIT, since there is no reasonable ground to hide the truth.

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